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Guest Jewel

dying fish, labored breathing

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Guest Jewel

Here is my tale. I have a 125 gall african cichlid community. Recently i had new floors put in, so i dismantled my entire tank (water, fish, gravel...alll of it), moved it to a temporary position and put water and fish back in (not gravel) for a week until floor done (fish did fine with no adverse reactions at al), then repeated dismantle and put fish back. I bought new gravel, added some new rocks and plastic plants. Put all fish back in. As soon as i put the fish back into the tank the whole herd of brichardi went down to bottom of tank, gasping. I also have a very large frontosa who had no reaction, 3 lelupi with no reaction, clown loach with no reaction. Tropheus went into gasping at the bottom, lying on side. transcriptus went to bottom except for one. I fished all very ill fish out and put them in 10 gallon with water from the tap and they all perked up. Some of the lesser affected fish i left in the 125, some died some lived. All fish in the large tank appear to have more labored breathing sometimes lying on the bottom, but no deaths. I had been weaning the fish in the 10 gallon onto the new tank by slowly putting that tanks water into the 10 gall. I put one of the brichardis who had made a full recovery in the 10 gall back in the 125 today (3 days out) and it died within hours. I have tested for everything, all is fine. I have an eheim cannister filter that i cleaned but of course left all the biological filtration in place. What could this be? When the fish in the large tank look ill and sluggish, i do a significant water change and they perk up for quite a while. I am thinking poisoning of some kind but can't find the source. I have removed all new additions except the new gravel. i did wash the gravel before putting it in the tank. Any ideas? Today i added a resin back to the eheim in hopes of filtering out the unknown thing. Question, wouldn't metal poisoning (if there is something metal in there by chance) take longer to develop than immediately upon placing the water and fish in the tank? I am running out of ideas.

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Sounds to me like you have an ammonia problem. This happens when you take all the rocks out of the tank for a week or two and put them back in. The bacterial growth that was on the rocks is dead. At this point the problem has probably been solved (since it is almost a month later). If you are going to do that again, I highly recommend getting a bottle of bacteria from the LFS and dump that in the tank during the process. This will help you have much better results immediately, which makes it way easier in the long run. I always have a spare bottle sitting around.

 

Jeff

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